Thursday, March 29, 2007
Budget Boy Explains It All
MVB: So, Budget Boy, how do you explain the latest county budget crisis?
BB: Which one is that? The airport? The port tunnel? The--
MVB: The $1.2 billion dollar "Port Tunnel"? We haven't even started building that thing.
BB: Oh, right.
MVB: Do you know something we don't know?
BB: (snaps heels together and looks away): I know nothing.
MVB: Sgt. Schultz?
BB: My hero.
MVB: We're not surprised. No, we're talking about Carnival Center. The Miami Herald says today that the Center will run out of money by mid-May and needs a $4 million cash infusion.
BB: It's true.
MVB: It says Carnival has a "disaster plan" ready if they don't get the money: closing the nearly half-billion-dollar center for 30-days during the summer.
BB: A good time. Everybody is on vacation and who wants to schlep a couple of blocks through the heat and humidity of the "mean season" anyway. It's not like we budgeted in a parking garage across the street. Makes perfect fiscal sense.
MVB: It says one reason they're over budget is "higher-than-expected costs for utilities, security, maintenance, and insurance. Ticket revenues are 44 percent below projections."
BB: It's nothing Vince McMahon can't fix.
MVB: Vince McMahon?
BB: The head of the World Wrestling Federation. They should sign it over to him. He'll fill those seats. Batista, their world heavyweight champion, ought to pack the house.
MVB: "Batista"? A guy named after one of Cuba's most notorious dictators? You think he has a chance in this town?
BB: I guess you don't understand professional wrestling. They'll come in droves.
MVB: That's your solution?
BB: Anything but Bach.
BB: Also, get FPL to supply the joint with free electricity for naming rights. They could blast a beam of light up into the sky every night to act as a "cultural beacon" which would of course bring attention to their freaking logo on the tower.
MVB: Not a bad idea, Budget Boy, but they already sold the naming rights.
BB: Talk about a give-away. Carnival got the naming rights for a lousy $20 million. Disney had to cough up $75 million to hang their name on the Gehry designed LA concert hall. That extra $55 million would have come in handy right about now. No, I'm talking about hanging the FPL logo on the Art Deco Sears Tower in exchange for free electricity forever.
MVB: What, and make FPL give up their lame multi-million-dollar "Bob" advertising campaign?
BB: Exactly. They're a monopoly anyway. Where's its competition? Why advertise at all? Trust me, they won't miss the money. Anyway, I've just about had enough of "Bob" and his microphone. I think I'm speaking for everybody when I say I'd love to shove that microphone right up his ass.
MVB: Ouch! Well, Budget Boy, you got that one right.
UpDate (12/13/08): Christmas comes early with the announcement that the tunnel project succumbs to a well-deserved death when the state and Bouygues Travaux Publics can't agree on terms. Hurray!